20 January 2014

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author(s): Gillian Flynn
Genre(s): Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher/Date: Weidenfeld & Nicolson / May 24, 2012 
Series: Stand Alone
“Because you can't be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Our kind of love can go into remission, but it's always waiting to return. Like the world's sweetest cancer.” -Amy Dunne
Case Study
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer? 

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? (synopsis from Goodreads)

The Game's Afoot
Woah. Gone Girl is fucked up. Like, reeeeeally fucked up. But in the best kind of way. It's a story about marriage gone wrong. Very wrong.

Only in this story, it's not a love fern that dies.
On the surface, Nick and Amy seem like the perfect couple. She's a cool girl, the ideal sort of wife. He, the doting and dutiful husband. But on their 5th wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing and Nick quickly becomes a suspect, THE suspect, in her disappearance. As the story unravels through Amy's diary entries and Nick's narrative, so do their lies. It turns out that Amy and Nick aren't who we think they are. And this is where things start to go a little crazy.

Yes. Yes I am.
Let me tell you something about Nick and Amy Dunne. SPOILER ALERT: They are HORRIBLE people. I don't think there's a single redeeming quality about either one of them. Nick is a philandering, misogynistic douchenugget and Amy is a narcissistic, needy sociopath. They are AWFUL. Truly AWFUL. Their relationship is AWFUL and if I had the choice to spend my time Amy and Nick or spend the rest of my days in the pit of despair, I'd choose the pit every time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I'd much rather hang out with this guy.
There is seriously so much hate between them and the ridiculous lengths at which they go to torment one another is appalling. Each of them is vindictive and conniving and cruel in their own special sort of way. And this is exactly why they were made for eachother. 

But what's really surprising is that as unlikeable as the characters were, the writing was well-executed and the plot complex enough to keep me guessing, even when the majour twist was otherwise predictable. Flynn had me from the very first page. This is one of those stories where everything you're told and everyone you meet is unpredictable, unreliable. You'll spend the entire time forming theory after theory and it's misleading and frustrating and fucking brilliant. I always felt like I needed to know more, to delve further into the darkness of Nick and Amy's twisted relationship. I needed to be a part of their madness. It's sick. The whole story is sick, the characters are sick and I am sick because I loved every sick minute of it.

Oh god, and don't get me started on the ending. I can't even think about that ending without wanting to hide in a dark corner and pray for sunshine and unicorns and rainbows.


It was that sadistic. And powerful, so powerful. And perfect. Even if it was a total mind-fuck. And anyone who can evoke that sort of reaction out of me definitely earns some mad respect in my book. So well done, Flynn. Very well done.

Summary Prognosis
Gone Girl has to be the most twisted love story ever written. While full of loathsome characters, deception and misdirection, this dark tale will horrify you and satisfy you in all the right ways. Though I didn't find the big reveal to be all that surprising, the ending did catch me off guard. It's quite telling and will evoke a visceral reaction out of the reader, even if it's not a happy one. Gone Girl is the first book in a long time to take me by surprise in the way that it did and I loved every torturous second of it.

Rating: ★★★★★

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website

6 comments:

  1. How did I know you would enjoy this one? ;-)

    I LOVE a book with horrible characters, especially when you can really HATE them. And I agree, this is one huge mindfuck - and it was awesome.

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    Replies
    1. You know me so well, Kat! :P

      EXACTLY. They are loathsome and utterly despicable and I just loved to hate them. It was like a horrible train wreck and you just couldn't look away. It was so sick in the best of ways!

      Delete
  2. Totally agree with you, Nikki! I loved this book. It was so well written and plotted, and I loved that she kept throwing in twist after twist. One of my faves last year!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, Tammy! I have a feeling this book will be tough to beat.

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  3. It's hard to put down this book once you start. You see yourself taking sides, only to switch a while later and then realize, you are being messed with. Enjoyed the nail biting plot, rounded, idiosyncratic characters and a convoluted, gripping narration.

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    ReplyDelete
  4. Gone Girl is a good,quick read. It kept me guessing. I really enjoyed it. It's a good summer beach read.

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